Dark Tourist (2018) s01e08 Episode Script

Back in the USA

I'm David Farrier, a journalist from New Zealand, investigating dark tourist hot spots around the world, places that are made famous by death and disaster.
This time, I'm back in America No, I can tell I'm in Hollywood 'cause literally everyone here is filming us.
.
.
where I go on the trail of the grisly Manson murders.
I want you to go in and kill everyone in the house.
I'm curious about why you wanna be like Louis, the famous guy who runs around and does great documentaries! Well, now you're getting personal.
I prepare for the end of the world as we know it.
Yeah, hit him with the bat! Hit him with the bat.
Get out of here! Get! And I experience the scariest horror house in the world.
This is scary? You don't know what scary is yet! Nobody said it was all fun when you're investigating dark tourism.
I start my journey in California.
When this case broke in December of 1969, it became You can take a tour of just about anything here, so no wonder it's a dark tourism mecca.
And the more grisly the attraction, the bigger the business.
On August 8th and 9th of 1969, seven murders were committed by a group of kids in their 20s, and these kids became known as the Manson Family.
I'm here to find out why the Manson murders became one of America's biggest crime stories and to meet the people still obsessed with it nearly 50 years on.
Seven people, brutally murdered The Manson murders took place in the wealthy suburbs of Hollywood.
The seven victims were viciously stabbed to death and included actress Sharon Tate, wife of Hollywood director Roman Polanski.
One of the most sensational murder trials in American history.
was a so-called religious cult.
The media went into a frenzy, proclaiming the murders were carried out by brainwashed hippies called the Manson Family.
The man who was accused of ordering the killings, and their ringleader, was the terrifying and charismatic Charles Manson.
Believe me, if I started murdering people there'd be none of you left.
Manson had picked up these runaways, basically drugged them up, so much so, they lost their mind.
This is the Helter Skelter Tour, and for the last 11 years, it's been a big hit with Manson-curious dark tourists.
If you look on our right, that massive house stands where the Tate house was.
As well as taking us to the murder sites, the tour also plays chilling sound recordings from witnesses to make the experience more real.
And then I started hearing, like, just horrible screaming.
And that's when I saw Wojciech Frykowski being murdered, slaughtered, knifed.
I find all the lurid details unsettling, and wonder if it's the same for the other dark tourists.
Why did you guys come on a tour like this and not go to the beach for the day? When the first night happened, I lived in North Hollywood.
And we never locked the front door.
After the first night of killings, the door was locked every time.
Mm-hmm.
He was a nutjob.
- I mean, a huge nutjob.
- Yeah.
After 48 years, Manson remains in prison and remains America's boogeyman.
I can't figure out how Manson had such a hold on his followers and why they'd murder for him.
I wanted to find out more about him, to separate the man from the myth.
But back at the hotel, something truly unexpected happens.
We begin with breaking news tonight.
Infamous killer Charles Manson has died.
At 8:13, word that he died of natural causes, under guard at a California hospital.
Charles Manson is dead, aged 83.
Charles Manson, the infamous cult leader The media goes berserk.
The most dangerous man in America.
We reconvened the panel hearing of Charles Then, in amongst the hundreds of commentators telling us what Manson meant, one guy caught my eye.
The aptly named Stoner runs one of the most popular YouTube channels about Manson.
Stoner van Houten here, paying my respects to Charles Manson, who passed away.
While you celebrate his death, I'll celebrate his life, so fuck you.
This was someone with a completely different take on Manson.
He seemed to even admire the man.
Why? So I head to the edge of Los Angeles, to a former Manson Family hideout, the notorious Spahn Ranch, where Stoner takes tours.
This is so strange, isn't it? What a place to be.
I'm David.
- Stoner, is it? - Awesome.
Pleasure to meet you.
There's no tour today, but when I arrive, I'm greeted by a 4:20 candlelit vigil for the late Charles Manson, and people filming our every move.
Who else is here? A few people filming us here as well.
Are we gonna be on a blog or something? Yeah, these are people that are probably from Facebook, from Instagram, from YouTube.
I'll tell you right now, everyone here actually respects Charles Manson.
I can tell I'm not in New Zealand, I'm in Hollywood, because literally everyone here is filming us.
Why did you guys come here? I'm curious why everyone came here.
Pay respects.
He's a human being.
Like Stoner, these are all fans of Manson.
But I'm keen to know why Stoner sees Manson as someone to look up to.
I don't know Charles Manson.
He never answered any of my mail.
I've sent him plenty.
But if I was in a room with him right now, I'd look him in the eye and say thank you.
Thank you very much, because if I was not doing this, if I wasn't doing the tours or anything involved with him, I would be in prison right now.
What did you go to prison for? - If you can say.
- Well - Let me just think for one second.
- Hmm.
Originally, I was charged with mayhem with intent to disfigure.
Stoner says his time in prison and struggles with methamphetamine, gave him an insight into the mindset of the Manson Family.
But you saw parallels with what you were going through? - What was that? - You saw parallels.
Well, in hindsight.
Right.
See, I've been a part of bad drug deals.
And I've been ripped off of drugs.
So, to me, it's not that hard to realize that this case is probably just as simple as a bad drug deal.
I'm not bullshitting you, man.
Stoner doesn't believe Manson is evil.
Instead, he's simply a misunderstood and unlucky guy and kind of an inspiration.
As it gets dark, Stoner agrees to give me a bit of his tour.
We leave the vigil site with his whole posse, to go to the highlight of the ranch tour, the cave.
And here's the cave where all nine members of the Manson Family sat, and this is the number one most photographed thing here at Spahn Ranch.
This was the photo that appeared in the famous Life magazine story.
What were they up to down here? Like, having sex parties? Yes.
What, you don't think sex parties go on now? Never been part of an orgy? I have.
- I haven't actually.
- I'm just saying, though, man.
Yeah, they go on.
Yeah, that's not unusual.
This is where Manson Family members actually would sit.
I wonder why they picked this place to take the photo.
I guess it's just Think about it, they had nine people, you could stretch them all out.
- I'm actually sitting where Danny is.
- It's a nice frame for a photo.
Where he's sitting, that's where Ruth was sitting.
Then you had Sandy.
You know, they're all here.
This is a truly bizarre experience.
But I still can't see how someone who destroyed so many lives could ever be seen as a role model.
It strikes me Stoner is a diehard Manson fan, but he never met Manson.
I want to talk to one of Manson's friends.
The next day, there's a new development.
A guy called Michael Channels has been named as the main recipient in Manson's will, and the one who'll get Manson's body.
But there's a bidding war for his story and he's refusing to talk to the media.
Luckily for me, Stoner knows him and he persuades Michael to meet me.
But there's a catch.
This is what I did.
I talked to Michael and basically all it's come down to is that he will do an interview tomorrow at his house.
You cannot ask him anything about Manson's death.
We can talk about him like Manson's alive and you can ask any questions you want.
- All good, Stoner.
Good as gold.
- All right.
The next day, I'm driving to meet Charles Manson's heir.
And I'm as nervous as I am excited.
Stoner meets us at Michael's house to do the introductions.
- Hello.
- Come on in.
- Michael, I'm David.
- Hi, how are you? - Nice to meet you.
Heard a lot about you.
- Thank you.
Have a seat.
The atmosphere is incredibly awkward, and I instantly forget the one rule of our meeting.
How are you? Are you sorry for your No, don't talk about that.
No All right.
- How are you doing? - Good, thanks.
I guess I just wanted to know how you came to be Charles Manson's friend.
I wanted to get his autograph, so I started writing him.
Okay.
About 50 letters I wrote, he never wrote me back.
But I kept on writing him letters and telling him about myself.
We had a lot in common.
We have a lot in common as far as human beings go, as people go, you know? Things like we grew up very poor, we were raised in second-hand clothes.
I had a really strict grandmother who was really religious, she believed in Jesus, and that's how Manson's grandmother was, too.
So we have a lot of connections, a lot in common, and after about the 50th letter, then he wrote me just to say, "Hey, how are you doing?" and signed his name.
I was happy with the autograph, but then I was more intrigued with the Manson.
I wanted to meet the boogeyman.
That was my next step, I really want to meet the boogeyman now.
Because Michael relates to Manson so closely, he thinks that everyone should just cut Manson some slack.
Was there anything in your correspondence with him that made you think he had regret for any of his actions? He didn't do anything.
He didn't do anything to regret.
He really didn't! - He didn't have that - Which is your main point, right? - That he wasn't involved in any murders.
- He didn't feel he had anything to regret.
Hmm.
I mean, the There's a lot of other people over there that have a lot of things to regret.
There's, like, 40 people they could be asking that question to.
But they always go straight to Charlie like he was the leader or something.
He wasn't really even a leader! I mean, it was the Manson Family.
It was the whole, entire a group of people collaborating together, all talking about one thing.
They went and did it, and Manson got the blame.
That's how it worked even if he wasn't there.
But he lives Michael is incredibly intense, and it's hard to get a word in.
But is this because he knows the truth or because he's been blinded by a charismatic and evil man? Or is he just a guy who's mourning a good friend? And I'm not a Manson follower, I'm Manson's friend.
I'm his legitimate friend.
If you get a friend, I hope you stick by him through thick and thin.
No matter what they go through, I hope you stick by them.
Because if you don't, you're a dirtbag.
That's how I look at it.
 That's how I was raised, how he was raised.
And I'm just trying to stand by that, as a friend.
What is it about people that want to - I'm curious about you! - get close to I'm curious about why you want to be like Louis, the famous guy who runs around and does great documentaries, - who I got hooked on.
- Now you're getting nasty.
- You wanna be like Louis! - Now you're getting personal.
- No, it's true.
- Now you're getting personal, too! - No, that's - We're on the other foot now, eh? Sorry if I offended you with that question.
No, you didn't.
It's funny.
I get the Louis thing a lot.
I'm like the cheap version of Louis Theroux.
- You know? - I didn't say you were the cheap version! And you don't have to be the cheap version.
If you shoot to be, you can be, man.
That's how the media puts stuff on, right there.
He never used the word "cheap.
" I'm still not sure if it was an insult or a compliment.
Whatever happened it feels like it cleared the air a little.
You guys are cool.
If you were dickheads, you'd be gone by now.
Michael starts to show me around.
He gets out photos from one of his many visits to Manson in prison.
They're surprisingly touching.
What's happening here? Tell me about when these were taken.
Just us messing around.
He's a real posey kind of guy.
Almost like before Facebook selfies, that's what we were doing there.
He could have a laugh? Yeah, so would the guards and everybody else and the people taking the picture.
But Michael's most important memorial to his friend is a book that he's painstakingly putting together.
- Just go to one - It's meant to set the record straight, but I wonder if he's just too close.
When you balance up the good and the bad, do you think he is someone that is worth remembering and I guess, putting out there into the world? Or is he someone that we're better to - to forget about? - What a terrible question to ask a friend.
Man, that's a really weird question to ask a friend.
I know what you mean.
I'm not offended, but I just don't know how to answer that kind of question.
Hell, yeah, I think he needs to be remembered, and if it comes down to me, he ain't gonna die ever until I die.
Because I'll tell everybody that wants to listen.
- Yeah.
- You know? Remember him? I'm gonna remember him.
He's my friend.
I'll remember him forever.
I leave Michael and Stoner with a lot to think about.
I came here to learn more about Charles Manson and the people retelling his story 50 years on.
The media demonizes Manson, and maybe rightly so.
Manson was definitely not a good guy, but after meeting Michael and Stoner, I understand that not everyone sees him that way.
What we can agree on is that Manson was an outsider who's always attracted fans, followers and misfits.
And that hasn't changed.
For the next leg of this tour, I head to Kentucky to look at a dark tourism trend of biblical proportions.
There's a growing number of Americans who think the end of the world is coming.
They're called doomsday preppers.
The very first and most successful prepper was a chap called Noah.
99.
9% of humanity died in the biblical flood, but he and his family made it through.
Man Which makes this giant replica of the Ark the ultimate dark tourist hot spot and an inspiration for a whole new generation of preppers.
I'm hoping this trip will help me understand the people gearing up for the next apocalypse.
It's the scale of it.
- Yeah.
- It is incredible, isn't it? It is.
It really is.
It's you know That's one of the things I tell people when I drive up to it.
It's massive.
I like that you've got a sign here saying "Ark.
" In case you missed it? I guess.
Dr.
Georgia Purdom works here and shows me around.
I want her to show me how the greatest prepper of all time pulled it off.
One of the roles I had in being a molecular geneticist and a biologist is really looking at how did Noah fit those animals on the Ark? You know, I mean, granted, it's a very big structure, but there are a lot of animals in the world today - There are.
- How did he do that? How did they get on board? It's like the world's biggest zoo.
We would estimate around 7,000 animals.
These are examples of the animals that were on the Ark? Correct.
Yes.
And some of them, like this kind, we don't have it anymore here.
Right.
This kind are actually dinosaurs.
Science says they've been extinct for 65 million years.
So I'm not sure how Noah was able to get them on a boat just four and a half thousand years ago.
If you're gonna be a skeptic about the Ark, I think the thing that always gets people is dinosaurs.
- Sure.
- Are they mentioned in the Bible? Not specifically by name, but you have to consider that the word "dinosaur" didn't come around until about 1841.
Now, we do have the word "dragon" in the Bible quite a bit, probably talking about dinosaurs.
'Cause I'm a big fan of Jurassic Park, and obviously dinosaurs and humans didn't get on.
Surely dinosaurs would be top of the food chain.
So, before Adam and Eve sinned, God had told the animals, and Adam and Eve, to only eat, basically, fruits and veggies.
- Only to eat green things.
- Vegetarians.
Everything was originally, yes, vegetarian.
While I'm still trying to get my head around the idea of vegan dinosaurs, we quickly move on to the terrible state of humanity in the lead-up to the flood.
This is clearly designed to parallel the sins of today's world.
- Okay, this is where things really go bad.
- Right.
Again, the Bible doesn't give us a lot of information specifically, but it does say that man's thoughts were only evil continually.
Bit of a sex party happening here.
Yeah.
Adulterous relationships, homosexual relationships, different kinds of things that the Bible directly speaks against.
And Georgia says many of the same things are happening now, and God won't be happy.
So, is that something we need to be worried about, do you think? I think non-Christians, yes, definitely need to be concerned about that because there is another judgment coming.
And it will be by fire, not by flood.
- So it's going to be fire this time? - Fire will destroy the Earth.
It will be burnt up, so I'm done for.
Correct.
I'm not convinced about the story of Noah, but I can see how it might scare people into wanting to prepare for the worst.
Who are the modern-day Noahs actually putting this into practice? I track down a prepper in Virginia.
Jay runs weekend courses to help other families protect themselves from the coming apocalypse.
- Hello.
- Hey, how's it going? - I'm David.
- Jay.
- Hi.
- Hi! I'm Holly.
Good to meet you.
Welcome.
You guys are preppers.
- Yes, we are.
- You're not what I imagined as doomsday preppers, you're quite You seem very suburban.
Are you saying we're normal? You seem fairly normal! That's what I was trying to say in an awkward way.
How long have you guys been prepping for and thinking about the end of the world? Actually since about 2001 is when we got really seriousabout preparedness, right around September 11th.
So September 11th was a bit of a trigger? It was part of it for me, definitely.
I was working as a law enforcement officer at the time, and it was definitely an event that really changed the world kind of as we know it.
When I was in the Ark, I was thinking Noah was almost the original doomsday prepper.
He was almost the first guy doing that to the ultimate level.
You could look at it that way.
He did, he was preparing for, literally For him, that was an end of the world scenario.
At some point, the Bible says that Jesus is gonna return to Earth.
We believe that.
The Bible clearly says it's gonna be the worst tribulation the Earth has ever seen.
- So, worse than Noah's flood.
- It sounds terrifying! Jay seems to be prepping for humans turning on themselves, rather than God lighting the world on fire, which makes a bit more sense to me.
This is the master bedroom.
 It doesn't normally look like this, of course.
- So this is, what, being prepared for - Yes.
- any kind of bad scenario? - Exactly.
Literally, the normal function of society has been interrupted.
I want to learn how to protect myself, 'cause I am useless.
I'll be the first to die.
So Yep.
Good.
- That's how - That's satisfying.
What is it about guns? This feeling of satisfaction? - I don't know if it's satis - Or something.
For me, I don't look at these as toys.
I don't look at these as playthings.
For me, when you say "a sense of satisfaction," what I get out of it is that I can defend myself.
You're making me sound like the outrageous gun guy now.
Jay's whole house is designed to be prepared for anything.
We've got tons of medical gear here.
These are what we call our "go bags.
" A lot of jarred goods.
This makes about five gallons of potatoes.
I'm invited to attend one of Jay's training courses for like-minded neighbors.
I want you mentally to be ready to do what you have to do in order to survive.
But what that may mean is hurting another human being.
We struggle with that in New Zealand 'cause we're very polite.
We almost can't help it.
- Well, I can't wait to see you in here.
- It's gonna be a struggle.
- Who do you love most in the world? - I love my mom, Pam.
Your mom Pam? Dave is Pam.
I've got this knife.
I'm gonna stab her.
What are you gonna do? - Bang, bang! Kill you.
- You're not gonna say, "Excuse me?" - I'm gonna drop you.
- "Can you please stop?" No.
You're gonna drop me to save her life, right? - Yeah.
- Absolutely.
I kind of shove that in there? Right.
This weekend, Jay is role-playing how to defend a house and loved ones from marauding looters.
Gotta protect it.
I need pepper spray.
Have your baton ready, too.
You need this ready as well.
- Look at all these weapons.
Okay.
- Good.
You have any questions? No, I'm just trying to psych myself up.
All right.
What are you - Get off my property! - Look at that bird! - Get off my property! - There's another.
- What are you doing here? - Dude, it's the end of the world! - Yeah.
- Look at these vultures! Get away! I've got pepper spray.
I'm not afraid to use it.
Stop! - All right! - Yeah, back off! What is that? Hit him with the bat! Hit him with the bat! Get out of here! Back off! - Fingers! Fingers! Fingers! - Oh! It's off.
I thought I was just getting into apocalyptic character, but it seems my improvisation was a bit too enthusiastic for the preppers.
So if you accidentally shot him while he's running away, cops show up, and then you go, "Well, he attacked me.
" Then how did he get shot back here? If I was the backup guy, I think I would have shot you.
- To keep you from shooting Jay! - Yeah, I became a danger.
You were - I went too far.
- You were wild.
Well, I've learned my lesson.
It's the panic that sinks in.
It's the end of the world.
There's a lot of crazy stuff going on.
Yeah, it's complex.
It's not as simple as you think.
That night, at a debrief around the fire in Jay's backyard, I wonder if Jay's obsession with prepping is worth this huge effort.
Do you ever think, when you're sitting around you know, maybe there isn't going to be this big end battle, and there's no God, I don't need to worry about prepping, I should just enjoy life? Do I have passing doubts and things like that? Of my faith? No.
That I'm specifically living in the end times? Maybe not, and if I'm not If I get to, you know, year 99 of my life and I've all this gear that has long since gone bad, I'm okay with that.
If I get to the end and don't use any of it, that's awesome.
Oh, excuse me.
What happened? Shit, it's happening now! - Oh, God! - It's a sign! Amazing.
All right, God's got a sense of humor right here, I don't know.
Lawn's on fire.
I've actually had a really good time with these folks.
But I'm not sure I'm cut out for this stuff.
This is not what I want to do with my weekends.
And they haven't convinced me that the end of the world is coming soon.
Thank you, sir.
But if they're right, I got a glimpse of just how long I'd last, and it's not looking great.
Prepping is serious stuff, and it takes a lot of commitment.
Just look at Noah.
Amen.
For my final destination, I head south to Tennessee.
Summertown is sleepy and rural, but a year ago, it burst onto the dark tourist map when the small town woke to the sound of terrified screams.
I can't do it! I can't do it! I can't do it! I can't do it! I can't do it! I can't do it! I can't do it! I wanna get out of here! The town recently became home to the most infamous horror house in the world, McKamey Manor.
The online videos are brutal.
This is a tourist attraction where people flock to be tortured and terrorized just for the fun of it.
If a dark tourist wants the most extreme weekend ever, then Russ McKamey is the man to give it to them.
But is he a showman? Or a psychopath? And why would anyone want to do this? Whatever the answer, there are reportedly 24,000 people on the wait list.
You have reached your destination on the left-hand side.
I've arranged to meet Russ and his girlfriend Holly at the Manor.
I'm more than nervous and I'm worried that everything I've seen and heard is true.
- Russ! - What's going on? - David.
- You're David? - Nice to meet you.
- I was hoping to get you in the Manor.
- I'm terrified of you.
- As you should be.
I remember watching videos of you maybe ten years ago, and it was a place you can go where this guy will sort of I mean, essentially torture you, and here you are.
The only way to find out, David, is you gotta come through! I don't want to be alone with you! While I hate the idea of being tortured, there is something perversely attractive about something that sounds so dangerous.
Russ's recent arrival in Summertown has predictably not gone down too well.
He's been served cease and desist orders.
- Let's go through what they are alleging.
- Oh, yeah! "A person was bound and tied behind a truck in what appeared to be some kind of abduction, torture and attempted killing.
She later screamed as what sounded like a chainsaw was used to simulate threatened or actual dismemberment.
" - These are quite full-on allegations.
- Yeah! They think they've got a bunch of killers in the neighborhood.
- Apparently they do.
- Like we're psychopaths.
- But you can see where it comes from.
- It's very PG-13.
But it's still the most extreme - because of the mental games.
- You want to break people.
I can make them believe whatever I want them to.
That's the bottom line.
Where did you learn this stuff? Well, being in the military for 23 years helped me out.
So you learn how to interrogate people.
You learn - How to get into their heads.
- You learn some mind control.
Russ and Holly admit to using hypnotism to heighten people's experiences.
But he's not afraid to get physical.
So you know you're gonna get cuts, bruises, sprains possible broken bones, maybe death.
It could happen.
See, that's exactly why I wouldn't do it.
- The instant I have that risk - But in 16 years of doing the extreme stuff, have I ever had one death? No.
You've had a heart attack.
- Yeah, we have.
- You're not going to die, but part of the fun is just for that moment that you actually might die, - and that's thrilling.
- That's what you're chasing? Yes, yeah, so And that's what these folks that come here are chasing.
These are the adrenaline junkies of the world, the people who can't get scared anyplace else.
- How long do you think I'd last? - 25, 30 seconds.
20 seconds maybe.
- I can't trust you.
- I know! You can't trust me.
- You're just one guy.
- I'm just a con artist that can deliver on every promise that I say.
Oh, my God.
I'm walking away.
Don't come back.
Walk away.
Keep walking.
I like you, Russ, you terrifying man.
The videos online are frightening.
But after meeting Russ, I still don't know why he's doing it.
Is he a guy just doing a job or some kind of psychopath? I was eager to meet Russ's next victim to find out why they were doing it.
- Hey! Hey, David! - How are you? Nick Newman's a 53-year-old dad from Memphis, Tennessee.
He's a boss at the local water department.
But in the past, he's swum with sharks and run an Iron Man.
An adrenaline junkie looking for his next hit.
He shows me everything he's been told to bring to the torture.
I'm going to be a shark because he said it makes the videos better - if you're in a onesie.
- That's his thing.
- Have you got your dog food? - Russ is a big dog lover - so I've got my dog food.
- That's all he wants for payment? A big thing of dog food? Well, you can donate some money, so of course I'll do that.
Puzzlingly, Russ doesn't charge for his services.
A donation of dog food is all he requires.
What you gotta have is actually a medical certificate and a psychological evaluation.
"He is physically and mentally stable.
" Congratulations.
"He has no limitations to participate in the McKamey Manor haunted house.
" Nick's wife and his two teenage boys don't really know what he's signed up for.
This video was from five years ago, when the manor was based in San Diego.
Apparently, things have stepped up a lot since then.
People are crazy.
Like your dad.
Despite their reaction, Karen knows there's no stopping Nick.
If he wants to do it, he's gonna do it.
I said, "You don't even know this guy! You don't know any of these people.
You don't know what you're walking into.
" He said he'd be okay.
It's the day of the torture.
Russ has organized for us to meet in the park for the first stage, something called the waiver ceremony, and I have a surprise for Nick.
- You got your onesie? - I'm ready.
I'm gonna come and give it a little try.
Awesome, man! - I'm gonna get my onesie.
- You got a onesie, too? Yeah, it's a big old dog of some kind.
No, that's awesome.
We're soon joined by Holly and Russ, and I'm already regretting going to the Manor.
He warns us that the waiver ceremony will take five hours, but first the local police need to be told.
Hey, I'm calling you guys to let you know that we are doing a show today.
So if you get any crazy phone calls, you know that it's not real, so please nobody shoot me.
I'll pass it along.
The waiver is a 45-page document.
You guys are gonna read every single item in tandem.
"Participant agrees and understands the" While the waiver intends to remove any liability for physical and mental damage carried out by Russ, I feel like maybe this is just part of the torture experience.
David, you're going to get hurt tonight.
You're gonna get drowned, You're gonna get buried.
But I'm not really here to hurt you.
Although I am going to hurt you.
And you really have to understand that.
I am not BS-ing you at all, okay? "Have to figure out how to escape" This goes on for hours and hours, and I'm starting to lose my grip on reality.
In the past, there was no safe phrase, but maybe due to complaints from previous participants, Russ now accepts them.
- But you need - I think you're bluffing.
I think I am too.
In fact, I am.
I'm just kidding you, David.
Here's what we're going to do.
David, you give Nick something embarrassing.
My name is Nick.
I thought I was tough.
He's calling you out on your toughness! But I am actually much more of a coward than David is.
Oh, my God! The great thing is, even if I bail before you, you're still gonna have to say this, which will give me great satisfaction.
- He's cruel, isn't he? - He is.
It was time to sign the final clause.
Stupidly, it gives Russ permission to ignore my safe phrase.
Put your reality cap on, you're not gonna die.
But it's that bit between life and death that's a problem.
There is problems, there is.
- Okay, I'm gonna go on.
- Attaboy.
You each get a nice little straitjacket.
Now, after all the bizarreness, things start to get real.
- Totally normal way to spend the night.
- Isn't it, though? Is that adult diapers? This is the humiliation part, I think.
Perfect.
Now, it's gonna stay in your mouth.
You haven't felt nothing yet.
This is easy.
I'm already completely disorientated and more than a little frightened.
Jesus.
Jesus got nothing to do with it.
Here we go.
Russ has started the show.
Say, "My name is David, and I'm a little baby.
" Say that.
- Say it! - My name's David, and I'm a little baby.
Don't you stop.
- This isn't funny anymore.
- David, are you serious? I didn't say to sit down.
What are you doing? - I think you're making fun of me, David.
- No.
- Russ is a big freaking joke, right? - You're definitely not a joke.
Let's laugh at Russ, right? Is that what we're doing? I got your number.
- We're gonna have a good time tonight.
- It's scary.
It's scary? You don't know what scary is yet.
Did you break my straitjacket? Are you fat, huh? With the addition of headphones, Russ forces me to listen to his own warped soundtrack.
Welcome to McKamey Manor.
- Let's do this together.
- I really don't like this very much.
- If I want to stop now - Quit your bellyaching, David.
- All right? You haven't done anything yet.
- Yeah, okay.
No one will save you.
No one will hear you.
As we prepare to go to the Manor, I'm really freaking out.
It could be the soundtrack or the hours of abuse, but I don't think I can go any further.
You're not quitting right now.
You're not doing anything.
- I think - What? David? - I think I'm out.
- No way.
- Are you serious? - Yeah, I think I'm out.
Say the safe phrase, then.
Say it.
This is embarrassing.
No, I don't like anything about this.
This whole situation's horrible.
- Say it.
- I'm David, and I came from New Zealand and I'm too much of a wimp to do McKamey Manor.
- And I quit.
- And I quit.
- Sorry about that.
- There you go.
You're good.
You're safe now.
You don't need to worry about a thing.
There's just nothing in it that's like a good thing.
- What do you think - I don't understand people that come here.
- You're emotional right now.
- Yeah, I am, it's weird.
- It's strange, isn't it? - Yeah.
It's just a massive relief to be out.
I felt so terrified, I couldn't even think straight.
Russ's techniques are horrifically effective, even for my short stay.
It'll just be Nick from now on.
- Everything okay? - We're good out the back, in here.
Arriving back at the Manor, he's taken immediately to the barn.
Back up! Our cameras aren't allowed to follow, and in the house, I have no idea what's happening to Nick.
But from what we can see on Russ's cameras, he's subjected to a whole new level of abuse.
He's dunked violently into ice cold water.
Quiet.
Quiet.
You will hold your breath for 30 seconds or That's only 25.
That's only 25.
- Twenty-five.
- That's 25 again.
- I'm out! - What were you doing? - Say it, then.
- I'm Nick Newman.
I thought I was tougher than I am.
But I'm a bigger coward than David.
And I want to quit McKamey Manor.
- He's done.
- He's done? - It's over.
- Wow.
Nick has lasted just a few minutes.
- Sit down.
- Straight down.
There you go.
Sorry, guys.
It was way too fast.
- You okay, Nick? You all right? - Yeah, I'm good.
- What happened towards the end? - It was rough.
Just like Russ said, you don't want to do this.
Don't come here.
Nick was looking for an adrenaline rush, but Russ focuses on fears far darker than the fear of getting hurt.
Your sanity is his target.
I don't know what to think.
Russ looks so happy with what's just happened.
It's as bad as they say.
I haven't figured out what makes Russ tick so I decide to come back the next day.
I'll decide who I take to start my little games with.
Remember, you rascals are against each other.
A young couple, Caleb and Zoe from Missouri, have also turned up for the ordeal.
All right, goodbye! - We can't follow the process a bit more? - Mnh-mnh.
Unless you want to go back in? - Never going back in.
- Then get out of here.
Go, go! Shoo! In front of the household.
Bye, everybody! Off they go.
It's another brutal scene, but these two last much longer.
- Are you bleeding on me? - Oh, Jesus But after a couple of hours, the cold gets to Zoe Come on, roll.
I got to get out.
and then Caleb.
Good try.
Catch your breath.
We're over.
- Good job, Russ.
- That was good, man.
It's all over and time for a shower.
Russ has finally finished for the day.
This is a full-time job that you have.
It's full-time! It's ridiculous! - And there's no other magic income? - There is not.
- You don't sell these as fetish videos? - No.
Fetish? Did you say fetish? - But there must be some kind of income.
- This is so not fetish.
- You need to understand that.
- This is for the love.
The only income I have is I get $800 a month from my Navy retirement.
That's it.
800 bucks.
I spend that on food in three days.
How you doing there, Zoe? Are you mad at me? - No, I'm not mad at you.
I was cold, Russ! - Okay.
You kept talking about how it was just a game and it's not real.
It's very real because people are getting hit on the head.
You're drowning people.
 There's blood.
It's real stuff happening, you know? Real stuff happens.
But you're also real safe.
The whole point is to make you not feel safe, I think, and that works.
What do you think is the biggest misconception that people have about you? That I'm a psychopath.
That I'm just this crazy guy who gets off on hurting people.
- That's what I thought.
- You know? Who are you, then, if you're not a psychopath? I am an entertainer.
I'm a comedian, and this is nothing but showbiz to me.
So I found my own little niche in the world that nobody else is doing.
It's as simple as that.
I just love to entertain.
The only reason I can think of as to why Russ does this is that he's just so good at it.
I don't think he's a psychopath, but I certainly wouldn't call what he does entertainment.
You really don't want to do this.